Attractions

Apple Valley Model Railroad Museum – Historic Train Depot

 
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The first steam engine puffed up the Saluda Grade to the Hendersonville Depot in 1879. The steam engine needed a “help engine” attached to the rear of the train at Melrose for additional power to push the train up the Saluda Mountain Grade, the steepest main-line standard gauge railroad in the United States. The Carolina Special ran between Charleston, South Carolina and Cincinnati, Ohio from 1911 until 1968. The restored Depot houses a HO scale railroad layout that is highly detailed and is prototypical of Hendersonville, Saluda, Asheville, and Western North Carolina.  The Deport features historical artifacts, a Southern Railway cabooser and a special children’s exhibit where they can operate a Thomas the Tank train in a scenic layout. See the 10ft x 80 ft Garden “G” scale layout.

  • Open Wednesdays & Saturdays
  • Admission is free.
  • Donations appreciated
  • Check web site for hours

Aquarium & Shark Lab by Team ECCO

511 N. Main St.
Hendersonville, NC 28792
828-692 8386
 
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  • The Aquarium & Shark Lab by Team ECCO is the only public aquarium in Western North Carolina.
  • The Aquarium houses 20+ displays showcasing dozens of tropical fish, eels, sting rays, sea horses, turtles and fish, a touch tank, a 2,000-gallon shark study tank with bamboo sharks, and much more!
  • It is recognized as the first inland aquarium in North Carolina.
  • Check web site for hours, they vary by season
  • Admission charged
  • Offers educational opportunities for schools

Bold Rock Hard Cider

72 School House Road
Mills River, NC 28759
828-595-9940
 
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  • Bold Rock Hard Cider is the biggest craft cider maker in the Carolinas.
  • The Mills River cidery uses apples sourced only from Henderson County.
  • The Cidery offers complimentary daily tours and tastings and features an expansive tasting room with overhead views of the bottling line.
  • Relax outside on the patio or inside the tasting room as you enjoy one of their award-winning varieties of Bold Rock Hard Cider.
  • Open 7 days per week, has a permanent food truck on-site, regularly has live music, movies on the big screen, and other special events.
  • Bold Rock Mills River Cidery offers complimentary tours Saturday and Sunday at 1, 3, & 5 pm.

Bullington Gardens

95 Upper Red Oak Trail
Hendersonville, NC 28792
828-698-6104
 
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Bullington Gardens is a 12-acre, nonprofit horticultural education center offering programs, activities and workshops.The gardens and grounds include a therapy garden, shade garden, butterfly garden, perennial borders, native woodland garden, pumpkin patch and herb garden. The grounds also include a half-mile nature trail through the wooded area of the gardens.

  • Check web site for hours
  • No admission charged
  • Donations appreciated

Burntshirt Vineyards

2695 Sugarloaf Road
Hendersonville, NC 28792
828-685-2402
 
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Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

1800 Little River Rd
Flat Rock, NC 28731
828-693-4178
 
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Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is where Carl Sandburg, American poet, historian, author, and lecturer spent the final 22 years of his long and productive life at his estate, Connemara. The home, originally built in 1838, displays the Sandburg’s furnishing as they lived at Connemara from 1945-1968, including Carl Sandburg’s collection of 12,000 books. Tour the home for a small fee, and learn about Sandburg’s life as a writer, journalist, folk singer, social activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and biographer. Visit the barn and descendants of Mrs. Sandburg’s champion dairy goat herd and hike over five miles of trails. Access to trails, grounds, barns and public areas is free.

  • Open year-round. closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Day
  • Admission charged for house tour

Deep Woods Mushrooms

70 Deep Woods Rd
Mills River, NC 28759
828-243-3589
 
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  • Deep Woods Mushrooms offers tours of the mushroom farm, classes on how to grow mushrooms on logs, mushroom foraging ID classes and hikes, and more.
  • Reservations are required for tours.

Flat Rock Playhouse, State Theatre of North Carolina

661 Greenville Hwy. (Hwy. 225 South)
Flat Rock, NC 28731
828-693-0731
 
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The Flat Rock Playhouse has presented hundreds of productions for over eighty years. The Playhouse offers quality entertainment rarely found so far from Broadway. The Vagabond Players perform a variety of hits each year from comedy, American classics, musicals, farces and whodunits. The Playhouse features professional actors from across the country in major productions such as Mamma Mia, West Side Story, South Pacific and more.  The Playhouse is open mid-April through mid-October, plus a holiday production, presenting matinees and evening performances Wednesday through Sunday.

Historic Johnson Farm

3346 Haywood Rd.
Hendersonville, NC 28791
828-891-6585
 
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Historic Johnson Farm is a fine example of a late 19th and early 20th century farm & tourist retreat. The entire structure was handmade from bricks that were fired on site from French Broad River mud. Over the years many outbuildings were constructed, including a tool shed/blacksmith shop, barn, boarding house, and a cottage. The property offers historic home tours, nature trails, picnic tables, animals and 10 historic structures on 15 acres filled with trees in a natural setting.

The Heritage Weavers and Fiber Artists have transformed the boarding house into a fiber arts center, which includes weaving, rug hooking, bobbin lace, spinning or knitting.

Holmes Educational State Forest

1299 Crab Creek Road
Hendersonville, NC
828-692-0100
 
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Holmes Educational State Forest offers a series of well-marked trails, firefighting equipment, accented by exhibits and displays depicting ecology of a managed forest. Picnic sites with tables and a spacious picnic shelter (with grills) are also available. Located about 8 1/2 miles from downtown Hendersonville.

  • Nature Trails
  • Playground
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Area

Open March – November

Mineral & Lapidary Museum
of Henderson County

400 North Main St
Hendersonville, NC 28792
828-698-1977
 
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The Mineral & Lapidary Museum features the natural beauty of minerals, gems, fossils and artifacts found in North Carolina, in the United States and around the world. Displays include North Carolina minerals, dinosaur egg cluster, English minerals, fluorescent minerals, geodes, petrified wood & large logs, coral, artfully crafted jewelry, gem stones, Cullinan Diamond replicas and a Henderson County Meteorite, on loan from the Smithsonian, are featured displays. Gift shop is open daily. Geode cracking. Free admission!

  • Open Monday-Friday 1pm-5pm and Saturday 10am-5pm (Winter Hours: open Wednesday – Saturday).
  • Admission is free.
  • Located on the lower level of the Henderson County Genealogical & Historical Society building.

North River Farm Tours

3333 North Mills River Rd.
Mills River, NC
828-890-5316
 
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  • Guided tours of a real working farm, activities include a picnic by the river, fishing, you pick produce, guided tube floats, tent caming, corn maze and guided horseback rides.
  • Tours offered May – October by appointment.

Serpentarium Magic

57 Hunters Ridge Rd
Mills River, NC 28759
828-776-4477
 
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  • Serpentarium Magic offers educational tours with over 200 snakes, a two-headed Corn Snake as well as an albino collection of snakes, turtles, toads and frogs.
  • Plenty of other unique interactive exhibits.
  • Call for hours as they change by season.

The Old Home Place

4060 North Mills River Rd.
Mills River, NC 28759
828-891-7704
 
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  • The Old Home Place features a large dance floor, live entertainment in a family atmosphere with no alcohol or smoking.
  • The bands play country or bluegrass music for a toe tapping evening.
  • Fridays & Saturdays  7:00pm – 10:30pm

Western North Carolina Air Museum

1340 East Gilbert Street
Hendersonville, NC 28793
828-698-2482
 
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  • North Carolina’s first air museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the flying heritage of the Western North Carolina.
  • It features an impressive collection of restored, replica and vintage airplanes, models, engines, and flying memorabilia.
  • The museum is housed in two large hangers, where you will find passionate volunteer pilots that are eager to show you around. 
  • The museum is located adjacent to the Hendersonville Airport .
  • No admission charge.
  • Advance reservations for groups requested.